Friday 31 October 2008

Irish Hallowe'en

kBy the wonders of technology and a borrowed laptop, a first ever report from "the foreign". We are en famille, at the Silverwood's place roughly in the middle of Ireland, and we're here to see the mad Hallowe'en celebrations tonight. The Irish "do" Hallowe'en in a more lock-stock-and-barrel way than anything we get in England, and they wrap in as well, any desire for fireworks that the English get out of their systems around Guy Fawkes Night

So here we are, after an adventurous journey up on Tuesday night, when it snowed. Dad had seen some stuff about "wintry showers" on one of the screens at work, and we'd left earlier than normal, and a good thing too. Real snow started on the M25, just north of Dartford Bridge, in the dark, and the traffic was soon reduced to 35 mph or so.

Great big flakes were coming down, and swooshing towards the windscreen like one of those "star-field" screen savers. It was so thick that it even laid on the motorway surface, and we couldn't see the cats eyes or the white lines. Dad latched onto the tail lights of a 4x4 and hoped. Some unlucky guy in the fast lane went too far to the right, put a wheel into the gravel trap on the central reservation, slithered to a stop, and had to get his passengers out pushing through the snow to get back onto the tarmac.

We survived an hour of that before the next driver swap on the M1. Here, Mum took over, the snow stopped, and we were soon doing more Mum-like speeds northward. The normal long distance rhythm for us is 2 hour stints of driving followed by a comfort stop for dogs - we have explored the grass and trees in more motorway services than it's probably healthy to know!

We made our ferry in Holyhead and there, as ever, we dogs get abandoned in the car on the car deck while the humans sneak off upstairs, on this occasion having booked a cabin to sleep in. It all goes quiet and boring and we get some shut eye, round to 06:00 and the ferry docks in Dublin (North Wall), and Mum and Dad come back to the car to rescue us.

We drive through the dark to Portmarnock's "Country Club" where we're taken onto the sand dunes and beach for another walk as the first glimmer of sunrise starts to lighten the sky. It's beautiful here, especially looking back towards Ireland's Eye (small island) and Howth Head, all lit up with street lights. The dunes are alive with rabbits.

Refreshed and comfortable again we head for the Steak Lady's house to catch up with our old chums, Yorkies Cracker and Rosie (not to mention try to steal all their chews and bones. Nobody had warned them we were coming so they'd not hidden them very well). The humans have a good fried breakfast (Dad just lurves the Steak Lady's potato cakes).

There's loads more to tell, but that's enough for now. Sam the Spaniel, George the Seal (I kid you not) - more soon

Deefer, Travellin' Babe

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